Doraemon used in rain-praying ritual
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Doraemon used in rain-praying ritual

Bangkok Post file photo
Bangkok Post file photo

PHRAE — Farmers in the drought-hit Nong Muang Khai district on Sunday used a doll of the popular Japanese robot cat Doraemon in a ritual to ask the deities for rain, instead of the traditional black cat to avoid animal abuse allegations.

The drought-affected corn growers in tambon Wang Luang put a Doraemon doll in a wooden cage and then placed an image of the cartoon character on the cage’s exterior which they marched around their village in the hae nang maew ritual to pray for rain. 

Rattakarn Jantanu, kamnan of tambon Wang Luang, said the villagers agreed to hold the traditional ceremony as Phrae was suffering from severe drought, especially in Nong Muang Khai.  

But they were concerned about possible criticism from the general public over animal abuse and decided to use a Doraemon doll after they could not find an ordinary cat doll, Mr Rattakarn told Thai Rath Online.  

The procession failed to bring rain after participants visited five places believed to house spirits of their ancestors, followed by a religious ceremony at a local monsatery.

“Although the ritual today did not work as the villagers wished, it made them happy. It has helped comfort them,” Mr Rattakarn said. 

Besides a black Siamese cat, maew see sawat, four other items are required for the ritual - a bamboo or rattan basket with a cover, five pairs of candles, five paired flowers, and a wooden pole to carry the basket containing one or more cats.        

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